Created on February 20, 2013
and written by Category
I found this lady on her YouTube channel talking about comics, movies, conventions, interviewing artists and even Stan Lee (twice!). She’s a fellow Nightcrawler lover so she’s definitely alright in my book. The spotlight falls on Marlene aka
How did you get into comics and other geeky things?
I get asked this question a lot! I don’t remember exactly what prompted me to start liking comics, but I do know the general timeline for how it happened.
I’ve loved cartoons and videogames since I was pretty young. I grew up watching shows like X-Men Evolution, Smallville and Toonami-- the good stuff!
When I was finally old enough to stay up for Adult Swim on Cartoon Network (in high school), I took a serious liking to Japanese anime and manga. In college, this somehow transitioned to a passion for American comic books, I think when I started rediscovering those TV shows I used to love. And that’s where I am now!
Why did you start doing videos?
I kept meeting people in college that were surprised I enjoyed collecting comic books and attending conventions. It seemed difficult for them to grasp the idea that a girl-- a girl!-- could be into the hobby. I thought that was very silly. I originally created the “ilikecomicstoo” account just for kicks to say, “hey, I’m of the female persuasion and ‘I Like Comics Too.’” I wanted to put more of a female voice into the mix which, at the time, Youtube was somehow lacking.
I don’t know why but a lot of people seemed to enjoy my videos, so I kept doing them. :)
What can fans look forward from your site and your YouTube channel?
I’ve taken a lot of hiatuses on my blog, for several reasons. School, work, the dreaded Youtube comments section, feeling overwhelmed, etc. contributed to all the pauses in production. I’d like to get back on track and regularly produce videos sometime in the near future, especially to showcase all the independent comic book creators that are struggling to get the word out about their work. There are some seriously fantastic artists and writers out there, and it’s a shame they don’t get the recognition they deserve because of lack of exposure. So I’d like to highlight them more along with the mainstream titles, and maybe cover more conventions. SDCC is on my list for the first time this year!
You had the opportunity to interview Stan Lee twice! What was were both experiences like?
Stan Lee is awesome! He’s the sweetest man, incredibly sharp and very funny. The first time I met him was at a gallery here in New York, where I had the chance to interview him while we were filming for MTV. He was a pleasure to interview, so much so that-- and here’s something I haven’t shared publicly before-- one of the managers had to frantically signal for me to wrap it up behind the camera. We hit it off so well that we were taking too long!
I also met him again at New York Comic Con one year and had the opportunity to take a photo with him. He was just as great as the time before.
You were also on the MTV series My Life As Liz. How did you get to be a part of that show and how was your experience?
I was part of My Life as Liz mostly just by chance and luck. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to show up on television, let alone on a channel like MTV. It was a really interesting experience and also very, very new to me. Being on a TV show is definitely nothing like being in front of a webcam for Youtube, let me tell you! I’m really glad I did it, though. I met some lovely people and connected with comic fans from all around the world as a result. To this day, though, I get comments on my blog and Youtube channel reading, “No way! You’re real?!” I guess folks assumed that the “Marlene with the comic book blog” on the show didn’t really exist. But that’s really me!
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Right now I’m trying to re-organize things on my blog so that I can get back to reviewing consistently. That’s my biggest goal. Hopefully great things will happen from there.
You’re a fellow Nightcrawler lover like myself, what did you think of his death, his AOA self, and do you think he should come back?
Why must you bring up sad things. :(
I think his death was poignant but, ultimately, unnecessary. It can be argued that no fictional character’s death is “necessary,” of course, but I think there might have been better ways to build tension and drama and amp up the gravity of Hope’s situation without killing off our Elf. Then again, I’m biased. I am glad that Marvel stuck to it and hasn’t brought him back, though. As much as I love 616 Kurt, his death means a lot more if it’s not cheapened with a resurrection. He was the voice of reason and the one against violence, after all. His loss is meant to be symbolic.
I think AoA Nightcrawler is nifty as a character, because of his past and how different he is from Kurt Wagner in virtually everything except for shape. He’s no Fuzzy, though.
In your opinion, have things changed for the better in the geek universe for lady geeks? And what things in your mind need fixing?
Oh yeah! When I started Youtubing, I don’t remember seeing nearly enough ladies putting their thoughts and opinions about geekdom on the Internet-- or if they were, they weren’t getting nearly enough pageviews. That’s changed significantly in the last few years. Sites like The Mary Sue are dedicated almost entirely to the female perspective, and more and more geek girls are taking to Twitter, too. It makes me extraordinarily happy!
We have a long way to go, though. For some reason, it’s still “weird” or “new” for women to be into what have traditionally been defined as “boys’ club” hobbies. They can dress up in sexy cosplay but, otherwise, they’re “doing it wrong.” That’s nonsense.
What is your take on the fake geek girl controversy?
I have a lot of feelings on this thing.
First of all, it upsets me that there even is a fake geek girl controversy. Why can there only be female fake geeks? What’s the male equivalent? Why is it that a woman’s genuine interest in a hobby automatically comes into a question, but not a man’s? And why is that people think that women in these hobbies don’t exist?! 70% of the players in my World of Warcraft guild, for example, are chicks!
For me, there are no fake geek girls. There are people who like geeky things, some a little, some a lot, and there are people who don’t like them at all. That’s fine. Honest! Growing up, I was one out of two girls in my elementary school who liked “geeky” things. We were isolated because of that. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t nice either. Now, we live in a time where people with these kinds of interests can find each other, easily make new friends, obsess together, discover new shows and books and comics, and ultimately feel accepted. Why anyone would want to undermine these opportunities by creating categories for “real” and “fake” fans is beyond me.
Just because someone doesn’t like something with the same intensity as you do, whether that be comics or sports or what have you, doesn’t mean they are not a “real” fan. You should take this potential new friend as a chance to teach and grow and find common ground, rather than exclude.
I wrote a little about this on my blog, even before this “fake geek girl” thing blew up. You can read it here.
How can those of us who love comics encourage young girls and older ladies who want to to draw, write, or just be involved in comics?
One: READ. Find comics/graphic novels that you like, read them. Then find more and read those, too. Then recommend them to your friends. Then buy the ones that blew you away as birthday/holiday gifts for your family. Then find age-appropriate material and give it to your young’uns and start them early.
Two: DISCUSS. Go to signings and thank/chat up your favorite creators. Go to conventions and meet people with similar interests. Find book clubs. Find comic social gatherings. Get on forums. Get on Twitter. Follow some blogs and comment (politely) on them. Go to your local comic book shop and hang out and talk to people and ask them what they’re reading. Repeat step one.
Three: CREATE. You have more imagination in you than you think. If you like comics, if you really want to get involved in them, create something. Write, draw, sketch, ink, letter, color, panel, edit... There are a hundred different roles you can fill. Plan something out and do it. Publish it as a webcomic. Start a Kickstarter and get funded if you need the help. If you’re an artist, start a deviantArt page and upload your work there so people can see it. Take your portfolio with you and go to conventions and make appointments to have people look at it. Get an internship at a comic book company-- Marvel’s a great place to work at, and I can say that honestly. Get the word out about your stuff. Try harder and get the word out more. Nope, you can still spread the word even more!
For women, specifically, I’m not sure what I can say except that, as a woman, you may have to work a little harder to get the same respect you deserve. This “fake geek girl” nonsense has shown just how ignorant people can be. That’s not okay, but I have faith in you. I really do. You keep loving comics and making comics, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t. Anyone give you trouble and you send them to me, you hear? I’ll take care of ‘em.
Tags: comicmaniac spotlight
, Stan Lee
, women in comics
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